From the point of view of a culture researcher and linguist, the description of cross-cultural communication phenomena in terms of games, performed in fixed situations and according to certain rules, makes it possible to reveal the actor's objectives and methods of achieving them which apply in a certain communication environment. Both objectives and methods may essentially differ in the target communication environment, which makes the researcher's task difficult, though possible, assuming a minimal level of determination and objectivity is assured. It should not be forgotten that games may be both constructive and destructive. A game may function as a weapon, and that includes the stage of cross-cultural communication. A characteristic example of such an approach is the novel by Nothomb published in Poland under the title With Humbleness and Humility describing, allegedly 'with distance and humour', the adventures of the author during her work in the office of a Japanese company. The description of hypocritical games which the text is larded with may be instructive on account of the exceptionally condensed set of techniques serving effectively to disable cross-cultural understanding, even though the narrator who uses them overtly declares their openness, objectivity and readiness for agreement. The peculiar mix of xenophobia and orientalism of Nothomb's text uncovers numerous phenomena inevitably present in the background of cross-cultural communication, although rarely described by researchers. This paper attempts at introducing Polish readers to such phenomena.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.